Catholic Books for Teens

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I have a 13 year old who is an avid (and quite advanced) reader. Trying to keep him in reading material that is at least not anti-faith. He’s gone through much of the popular fiction of CS Lewis and Tolkien.

Any recommendations?
Mystical City of God

by Venerable Mary of Agreda

Private revelations on the lives of Jesus, Mary & Creation, the fall of the angels, etc… it is much more accessible (reading wise) than Anne Catherine Emmerich… MCOG is advanced enough for your son, especially if he has read Tolkein…but yet very simple to read. It helps create vivid depictions for ones imagination…and can ONLY assist in the building of ones faith and love for our Lord and Lady. 🙂
I have some recommendations, although you will have to read them first to make sure you are comfortable with all of the content, Faithful 2 Rome. Bud McFarlane, Jr. has written three Catholic novels (I hope he comes out with another soon). They are: Pierced By A Sword , Conceived Without Sin, and City of Gold. They are available (the first copy is free) from

They have some adult themes, but perhaps would be suitable for an advanced reader heading into his teen years. They would certainly confirm Catholic values. I found them to be very well-written and they are among the few novels I have looked forward to reading more than once.
read them first to make sure you are comfortable with all of the content . . . They have some adult themes
Adult in what sense? Can you expand on what types of themes are covered? I’m sure that others would be interested to know.
Bud puts a disclaimer at the beginning of each book asking that parents read the books first. In one, a main character in the beginning is living with a man, has learned she is pregnant, and that the father wants her to have an abortion. She kicks him out, talks with a priest, has a conversion, and then lives a model Catholic life. The first part is short and her conversion is swift. That the sort of stuff. You’ll love them yourself, even if you want him to wait. But I have let my children (14, 15, 16, 17) read them and they enjoyed them much.
There is a wonderful novel by a man named Martin dePorres Kennedy (how’s thatfor a good Catholic name!🙂 called A Philadelphia Catholic in King James’s Court. It’s about a teen who has to defend the Faith against some Fundamentalists, one of whom is his uncle. It’s very good, and I would highly recommend it to anyone, teen or adult.

Just want to say thank you ! I am in the same situation with my daughter. I will introduce these recommended books and see how she likes them.
Thank you again!
Amy Welborn has several excellent books which you can get from Our Sunday Visitor. They are geared for your Childs age group I think. I have not read them so I cannot vouch for that exactly, but I have read the reviews and she seems to write to that age group in a way they can understand.
I have a few books to recomend, still being in my teen years (19) I think that these would be appropiate for anyone who can read fairly well. Most of these can be got from Catholic

Meet Padre Pio- Patricia Treece
Tells about the life of Padre Pio who bore the stigmata and was a preist who lived in Rome throughout the mid 20 century.

Rome Sweet Home- Scott Hahn
Scott Hahn’s conversion story that tells of his finding truth in the Catholic Church, great for strengthing faith in the Church.

The Essential Catholic Catechism- Alan Schreck
Basicly a shorter version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church little bit easier to understand then the full version for the beginner.

**The Catechism of the Catholic Church second edition **
If you want to go with it might as well give them the whole thing, very good reference tool everything about our faith is in there.

Hope that these help you. God Bless.
I am not sure about suitability to the male mind. However, I highly recommend the two books “Karen” and “With love from Karen” by Marie Killilea for an interesting read on the heart-warming struggles of a very faith-filled family whose daughter was born with Cerebral Palsy.
He’s gone through much of the popular fiction of CS Lewis and Tolkien.
Since he seems to have a tendency towards fiction …

I liked the “Song of Albion” trilogy by Stephen Lawhead. It seemed to me a mixture of “Chronicles of Naria” and “Lord of the Rings”. As I recall, it has a christian undertone, like LOTR. And like that trilogy, good triumphs over evil through humility and meekness.

Lawhead also has a series on King Arthur (4 or 5 books).

( But I would caution away from Lawhead’s “The Celtic Crusades” series, for someone that young or someone not very grounded in their faith. )

At your son’s age I was reading the novels of Kenneth Roberts with titles like “A Rabble in Arms” and “Northwest Passage”, set during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. Great adventure books for a boy your son’s age and I bet they are still in print.
Another Catholic book that doesn’t get much props is “Don Quijote de La Mancha” by Miguel Cervates. Extremely high reading level, but very entertaining.

If he is interested,“Ulysses” by James Joyce is also a Catholic novel about a man attending a funeral. This novel is arguably the best book written during the last century, however, the subject matter and reading level is above nearly anyone without a Ph.D. in English, but if he wants to challenge himself, I’d say go for it.
Ack, ack, ack!!! Caution! My oldest children are ages 14 & 12, they are very advanced readers, but are quite innocent in the type of wordly things they have been exposed to(or rather not exposed to). I would NOT!!! let them read Bud McFarlane’s books just yet.

The Amy Welborn books(Prove It Church, Prove It God, etc.) are great. We have several, but they deal with Apologetics. I assume you are looking for fiction. Go with classics. I’ve been picking up classic literature at garage sales since my kids were babies. Cheap way to have a library!. We also got a list of all the Newberry Award winners since they started fron & read them all. If you’re looking for more advanced reading The Tale of Two Cities, Count of Monte Cristo, Three Musketeers etc., these are NOT kids books. Pretty serious reading & so much richer than the movies & cartoons made from them. And try Shakespeare. I always loved Shakespeare! …Sherlock Holmes, which I never read until adulthood & enjoyed. We love Thomas Hardy, there are some sinful actions in some, but usually they pan out into punishment/disorder in the life, so good teaching, I think. Even books that would have been considered raunchy in the 19th century are probably tame enough for the strictest mom. Like Me! 😉

Some good nonfiction that we’ve enjoyed: Lewis & Clark’s diaries(lots of botanical/nature stuff in them), Ordeal by Hunger(Donner Party -pioneers going west trapped in Rockies for winter - rumored to have turned to cannibalism, but this is never confirmed in the book) . Ignatius Press? I think has a vast 100+ set of saint bios that are less flowery than some. Boys tend to like more, see the saints as real people.

We also like to reread books we’ve already read. As you grow and mature, you’ll see things in some stories that you didn’t see before.
One of my favourite books is The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. It’s a Newbery Award Book… It’s not Catholic per se, but it’s about a young Jewish man who has to deal with his anti-Roman sentiments, his mistaken belief in Jesus’ mission as the Saviour on earth… From resentment and hatred, he learns from Jesus the importance of love and forgiveness. It’s set during the time of Christ. Very meaningful, very well written. I would highly recommend it.
👋 I recently found a good book that I am currently reading in hopes that my children will pick it up from time to time. It is called *Saintly Solutions to Life’s Common Problems. * By; Father Joseph Esper. It is a book that focuses on a variety of problems including anxiety , failure, and unpopularity. The book is arranged in short chapters for each problem with a litany of saints who had similar issues and how they dealt with/overcame them… At the end of each chapter there is a “Further reading” section with both classic and contemporary works sited.

My 13 year old son is also an avid reader. I will ask him tomorrow when he’s awake if he has any good suggestions.
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